East Tukana to Lamu





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  1. #1
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    Default East Turkana to Lamu

    hi, we are planning a self-drive trip in July
    one leg of the trip will be from Loiyangalani via Marsabit, Samburu to the coast (Lamu).
    is the inland road passable from Sambura via Mado Gashi ,Garissa to Lamu?
    not sure if the conflict/ attack on the university in 2015 is still a real threat in the area?
    garissa would be a half way stop to Lamu
    Last edited by wynvlieg; 2018/02/04 at 05:01 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Default Re: East Turkana to Lamu

    Quote Originally Posted by wynvlieg View Post
    hi, we are planning a self-drive trip in July
    one leg of the trip will be from Loiyangalani via Marsabit, Samburu to the coast (Lamu).
    is the inland road passable from Sambura via Mado Gashi ,Garissa to Lamu?
    not sure if the conflict/ attack on the university in 2015 is still a real threat in the area?
    garissa would be a half way stop to Lamu
    Please see the UK travel advisory which is the same as all Western governments.

    https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/kenya

    The route you are asking about via Garissa to Lamu is the no-go zone due Al Shabaab. A lot of stuff is still happening in the Mandera, Wajir, and Garissa areas which is not necessarily reported in the international press. Furthermore, the road from Malindi to Lamu is not considered particularly safe. You would also have to leave your vehicle on the mainland opposite the Lamu archipelago as no vehicles on the islands. Best to park up in Malindi and fly to Lamu.

    Lamu is an enchanting place so I am not trying to put you off, but I want you to be aware of the risks traveling there. DEFINITELY NOT the route you had picked out on a map!

    Travel safe!

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    Default Re: East Tukana to Lamu

    There are not many no-go zones these days in Kenya but the north coast, north of Malindi is one. Any area approaching the Somali border is dangerous, as said due to the presence of Al Shabaab.

    This is virtually a military zone and I in fact would be surprised if the army let you into that area. There are still regular reports of clashes between the army and terrorist groups. As said, fly but but shop around, the smaller airlines are far cheaper. You can fly in from Nairobi or Malindi. If it is over a busy period it may be wise to book a cheaper flight a few weeks ahead of time.
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    Default Re: East Tukana to Lamu

    To reiterate my previous warnings on the route wynvleig thought he could take from Marsabit to Lamu, here is the detailed warning. Please take this seriously and not just think it is some lily-livered government warning. Also, his proposed route from Marsabit was through remote desert land and, despite a road being shown on a map from Marsabit to Mado Gashi and Garissa, this is likely to be seldom used remote bush tracks in shifta country.

    The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to
    • areas within 60km of the Kenya-Somali border
    • Garissa County
    • Lamu County (excluding Lamu Island and Manda Island)
    • areas of Tana River County north of the Tana river itself
    • within 15km of the coast from the Tana river down to the Galana (Athi-Galana-Sabaki) river

    The area to which the FCO advise against all but essential travel doesn’t include Kenya’s safari destinations in the national parks, reserves and wildlife conservancies; including the Aberdare National Park, Amboseli, Laikipia, Lake Nakuru, Masai Mara, Meru, Mount Kenya, Samburu, Shimba Hills, Tsavo, nor does it include the beach resorts of Mombasa, Malindi, Kilifi, Watamu, Diani, Lamu Island and Manda Island. Mombasa airport (Moi International Airport), Malindi airport and Manda airport aren’t included in the area to which the FCO advise against all but essential travel. If you travel to Lamu Island or Manda Island, you should do so by air to Manda airport and not by road.
    Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Kenya. The main threat comes from extremists linked to Al Shabaab, a militant group that has carried out attacks in Kenya in response to Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia. There have been a number of attacks in Kenya in recent years, particularly in Garissa, Mandera and Lamu counties and other mainland areas close to the Somali border.
    In light of security concerns, the Kenyan government has imposed a curfew in Mandera county and large parts of Lamu county, Tana River county and Garissa county for the hours 6:30pm to 6:30am. This curfew doesn’t apply to Lamu Island, Manda Island or Pate Island. Check local media before you travel.

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    Default Re: East Tukana to Lamu

    Thanks for the detail WW. I would guess that there is little more that Al Shabaab would like than some western hostages to publicize their cause.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

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    Default Re: East Tukana to Lamu

    That route is a no no. Mentioned track is militarized. In fact almost any road in this region that’s not the main Nairobi - garissa - daadab road is practically “closed”.

    Please listen to WW and Weakely. Stick to the main Nairobi Marsabit Loiyangalani roads your adventure will still be a great one. There is still true isolation in the northernmost leg of that route.

    With friends we once traveled “shifta” country and after a particularly unpleasant experience we turned back prolonging our journey by 200 hard kilometers.

    Lamu is heavenly especially too the surrounding islands like Manda etc. After visiting Lamu and manda my fiancé and I routinely reiterate that we don’t need a carribean or Bahamas holiday when we have Manda and Lamu.

    Driving to Lamu can occasionally be done (bad road) but even on low alert you never know when an incident can occur. And as mentioned you’ll have to park and boat it to the island. Fly as suggested earlier, book early and pricing will be favorable.

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    Default Re: East Tukana to Lamu

    Thank you, atakanmerdin, for reiterating my warnings to wynvlieg.

    I am also concerned that wynvlieg is underestimating the distances and difficulties involved in the route from Loiyangalani to Marsabit. This involves crossing the Chalbi Desert. From Loiyangalani to Marsabit across the Chalbi Desert is a two day drive.

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    Default Re: East Tukana to Lamu

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    Thank you, atakanmerdin, for reiterating my warnings to wynvlieg.

    I am also concerned that wynvlieg is underestimating the distances and difficulties involved in the route from Loiyangalani to Marsabit. This involves crossing the Chalbi Desert. From Loiyangalani to Marsabit across the Chalbi Desert is a two day drive.
    Totally agree. I think the Chalbi is adventure enough I intended to cross the last week of 2017 but we had to cut trip a little short to get back to Nairobi and as we had only one day We thought that’s cutting it tight and headed down serima - south horr, a route I love anyways.
    ps. I keep showing my fiancé your trip reports as we aspire to be just as adventurous someday!
    Wynvlieg will do well to heed yours and Stan’s advice.

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    Default Re: East Tukana to Lamu

    Wynvlieg, please heed all the advice above - as noted, even the overland route from Malindi to Lamu is not advised, rather leave your vehicle in Malindi and fly in.
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    Default Re: East Tukana to Lamu

    Thank you very much for your advice. of course i shall heed to it. Thats probably the reason why i couldn't get any info on that part.
    we'll wait a few more years to see that parts then.

    last question : if you had to choose between rental from Roadtrip Kenya of roversafari? does anyone have a definite choice?
    i see with roadtrip Kenya you cant go to Turkana, but i have seen more encounters from travelers with Roadtrip Kenya.

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    Default Re: East Tukana to Lamu

    Quote Originally Posted by wynvlieg View Post
    Thank you very much for your advice. of course i shall heed to it. Thats probably the reason why i couldn't get any info on that part.
    we'll wait a few more years to see that parts then.

    last question : if you had to choose between rental from Roadtrip Kenya of roversafari? does anyone have a definite choice?
    i see with roadtrip Kenya you cant go to Turkana, but i have seen more encounters from travelers with Roadtrip Kenya.
    There is a forum member , ortelius, who has experience renting. I hope I have the spelling right but if not you can check on the Kenya regional page for his recent trip reports. I have no hiring experience for overland here.

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    Default Re: East Tukana to Lamu

    Quote Originally Posted by wynvlieg View Post
    Thank you very much for your advice. of course i shall heed to it. Thats probably the reason why i couldn't get any info on that part.
    we'll wait a few more years to see that parts then.

    last question : if you had to choose between rental from Roadtrip Kenya of roversafari? does anyone have a definite choice?
    i see with roadtrip Kenya you cant go to Turkana, but i have seen more encounters from travelers with Roadtrip Kenya.
    As atakanmerdin says look for the report of ortelius’s recent trip to Kenya. He hired through Roadtrip Kenya.

    Do you mean Roving Rovers? I have heard them, but like atakanmerdin, I have no experience of renting vehicles in Kenya. Safariworld have a good reputation. It is very important that you rent from a recognised and reputable company in Kenya. There is a thread in the Kenya section of this forum when ortelius asked about vehicle rental in Kenya.

    I think you will find that no rental company will allow their vehicles to be taken to Lake Turkana. I think the furthest north they allow vehicles is Samburu National Reserve.

    Good luck!

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    Default Re: East Tukana to Lamu

    Regarding hiring a vehicle, you could try

    https://foleyseastafrica.com/hire/

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    Default Re: East Tukana to Lamu

    I haven't hired neither from Erikson Roversafaris (http://www.roversafari.com , operating from Nakuru) nor from Roving Rovers (http://rovingrovers.com, operating from Njoro near Nakuru). I did contact both of them two and a half years ago for rental quotes, but haven't got any response from neither of them. So, I can not judge how reliable they or their vehicles are. But it seems to me that this two companies are tightly connected, probably sister companies, as they have the same email address ([email protected]).

    We did met a couple from Austria two years ago in Meru NP, who had rented from Roving Rovers. Their Land Rover was old. I mean, *very old*. It must have lived through many adventures through its life. It certainly didn't look as a vehicle which I would use for a trip to Turakana. In fact, those Austrians were very busy solving their problems with burnt-out clutch in a nearby ranger station. At the end they were able to limp out of the park.

    I would dare to take Landcruiser from Roadtrip Kenya up to Turakana, though (if they would allow me). I have that much confidence in them. But in any case, I would not go to lake Turakana solo *in a hired car*. It's a different thing, if you own the car - in this case you know its history, its capabilities, its quirks. With a hired car, you can't be too sure of anything until you drive it long enough. I would go to Turakana with a hired vehicle only in a company of at least one other reliable car.
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    Default Re: East Tukana to Lamu

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    Regarding hiring a vehicle, you could try

    https://foleyseastafrica.com/hire/
    Wow that s very expensive 240 dollar per day for car with fridge and rtt, pffff
    I m also searcing for a good company with reliable cars, good insurance, good fridge and a rooftop tent.
    Hard to find good companies in Kenya.

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    Default Re: East Tukana to Lamu

    Probably off topic but I have been considering putting up my hzj80 series up for this kind of work. It’s got the very reliable 1hz and very nice vx package of comfort. I’d just need to kit it out for overlanding over the course of the year (tents fridges etc). Low mileage and I have used it with no squabbles in northern Kenya. I wish I was further ahead with this project so as to be of more help...

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    Default Re: East Tukana to Lamu

    Quote Originally Posted by sylvia000 View Post
    Wow that s very expensive 240 dollar per day for car with fridge and rtt, pffff
    Sylvia, you can easily find rental companies which are even more expensive. Sunworld Safaris have quoted me 350 USD per day for their fully equipped Landcruiser for 14 days rental. With limited mileage of 200 km/day, excess chargebale extra.

    Those are reputable and reliable companies, but there is a price tag attached to that.....
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    Default Re: East Tukana to Lamu

    Hello Atankanmerdin; Sounds like a great plan. When you are ready and everything is in order can you send me a PM?
    Hello Ortelius, I ve had also quotes that are in that price range, haha. I m not looking for the more expensive ones but just the other way around.
    We are emailing with Roadtrip Kenya ( read your review , thanks for that ) and still waiting on some replies from other companies, keeping positive.
    Otherwise it will be another trip to Zim, Zam, Bots also nothing wrong with that

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    Default Re: East Tukana to Lamu

    Quote Originally Posted by atakanmerdin View Post
    Probably off topic but I have been considering putting up my hzj80 series up for this kind of work. It’s got the very reliable 1hz and very nice vx package of comfort. I’d just need to kit it out for overlanding over the course of the year (tents fridges etc). Low mileage and I have used it with no squabbles in northern Kenya. I wish I was further ahead with this project so as to be of more help...
    As you know, atakanmerdin, Kenyan red-tape is onerous - as befits the sophisticated country it is (despite what people on this forum surmise). With regard to renting vehicles to tourists, a Kenyan friend’s son gave up renting self-drive vehicles due to all the licensing and red-tape which was involved. This, of course, is a good thing to ensure a safe standard for tourists in Kenya (be they self driving or with a tour operator).

    I think Roadtrip Kenya - using Ugandan registered vehicles - are attempting to circumvent the very stringent requirements in Kenya. But I could be wrong - and it could be perfectly legal through East African Community agreements.

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    Default Re: East Tukana to Lamu

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    As you know, atakanmerdin, Kenyan red-tape is onerous - as befits the sophisticated country it is (despite what people on this forum surmise). With regard to renting vehicles to tourists, a Kenyan friend’s son gave up renting self-drive vehicles due to all the licensing and red-tape which was involved. This, of course, is a good thing to ensure a safe standard for tourists in Kenya (be they self driving or with a tour operator).

    I think Roadtrip Kenya - using Ugandan registered vehicles - are attempting to circumvent the very stringent requirements in Kenya. But I could be wrong - and it could be perfectly legal through East African Community agreements.
    Thanks WW. I will definitely have to research this deeper as per your information. It is true in terms of regulatory obstacles in Kenya! It’s only getting harder to do things. Travel over the borders is supposed to be a lot easier now with the EAC agreements yet the “legal time allowance” for foreign registered cars in Kenya has been reduced and the regulations are tighter. On that note if the OP will rent a foreign registered car I suggest that they learn all the requirements and regulations and fully understand their legal position with such a vehicle here so as not to be harassed or find themselves outside the lawful regulations.

    4x4 vehicles are also ALOT cheaper in Tanzania and Uganda which is what actually caused an influx of older Landcruiser’s into Kenya. This was accompanied by the Kenyan ingenuity of simply slapping on Kenyan plates or swapping out logbooks etc. So this can mean that on the rare occasion foreign plated cars (esp Ugandan and South Sudan) can be under extra scrutiny. But this is usually on personally owned vehicles and not as much so for commercially owned and operated vehicles.

    I only researched my requirements in terms of insurance and it helped that my fiancé’s mom is in the insurance industry... I will definitely inquire as to other requirements. As part of my master plan I was also hoping that sometime in the future I could set up a small camping facility and base in Nanyuki( still building a house there) for this kind of overland travel. My place In Nanyuki is about 4km from the big British army camp. This would have been the “base“ of operation for the vehicle(s). But as mentioned easier said than done.

    Thanks!

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